Poll: Russians believe Ukraine shot down Malaysia Air jet

A majority of Russian citizens believe Ukraine is responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 instead of their own government, according to a poll reported on Wednesday by the Washington Post.

The poll found 46 percent of Russians believe the plane, which was carrying 295 people, was shot down by a Ukrainian missile. Another 36 percent contended that the jet was shot down by a Ukrainian military plane, according to the poll.

The findings are in stark contrast to arguments from U.S. officials that the plane was shot down by Russian separatists in Ukraine who were using missile that were acquired from the Russian government.

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The crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has touched off a round of international consternation toward Russian President Vladmir Putin, who has denied responsibility for the attack.

Putin has said that Ukraine should be held responsible for the downing of the commercial airplane because the incident happened in its airspace.

U.S. and Ukraine officials have pointed the finger at Russia for the downing of the plane, noting that Russia has provided training and equipment to the separatists in Ukraine.

Only three percent of Russian citizens accept the U.S.'s theory of the Flight 17 accident, according to the poll.

Another 16 percent of the poll's respondents said it was "hard to say" what happened to the large jetliner.

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